Khalil and Mr Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures
A sweet friendship spanning age and culture blooms in a shared backyard. Illustrated by Elaheh Taherian.
Khalil lives in the upstairs apartment with his family, which is big and busy and noisy. Downstairs lives Mr. Hagerty, who is quiet. Khalil and Mr. Hagerty don’t appear to have a lot in common, but hot summer days have a way of bringing people together. As Khalil looks for buried treasure in the yard, Mr. Hagerty tends to his garden. Both help each other navigate language — whether it be learning new words or remembering those seemingly forgotten. Before long, an unlikely friendship is born, full of treasure, thoughtfulness, and chocolate cake. Through well-cultivated details and vibrant cut-paper collage, author Tricia Springstubb and illustrator Elaheh Taherian nurture a heart-tugging tribute to the love of good neighbors and to the strength of intergenerational and intercultural bonds.
World rights: Candlewick (May 2020)
Starred review from School Library Journal
‘Readers will pore over striking, detailed illustrations in a collage with oil and charcoal. Most pages contain one simple sentence except for a place in the book where wordless artwork is stretched across both pages. Children will be eager to see what happens next. VERDICT A perfect read-aloud book for storytime.’
Tricia Springstubb has written several MG novels, all published by HarperCollins, which have been very well received – the latest being EVERY SINGLE SECOND. She is also the author of the CODY chapter-book series, published by Candlewick, with whom she also has a picture book, PHOEBE AND DIGGER.
She worked for many years as a children’s librarian in a public library, and has also been a frequent book critic for a Cleveland newspaper. In 2009 one of her short stories won the Iowa Review Fiction Award, judged by Ann Patchett. She is also a recipient of an Ohio Arts Council grant for her work.